Dev is back with a new series, The Rajes, in which she puts her spin on Jane Austen. True to form, it has slightly over-the-top characters in completely relatable situations. Trisha Raje is a genius neurosurgeon in a family of control freak overachievers: her father is actual royalty-turned-successful surgeon/immigrant success story; her mother is a former Bollywood star; and her brother, Yash, is probably going to be the next governor of California. Her sister, Nisha, runs the campaign, and the other Raje members in the family’s orbit are tightly bound by loyalty and closeness to make the campaign succeed.
Enter DJ (Darcy James) Caine. He’s the Cordon Bleu, Michelin star restaurant-trained caterer hired to work his magic for Yash’s big gubernatorial campaign announcement. He’s also the overprotective older brother of Emma, a talented young artist who will die unless Trish can remove her brain tumor. The catch: the only way to do that will leave Emma permanently blind.
DJ and Trisha don’t like each other.
If you’re thinking this sounds like a whole lot of plot: it is! But Dev executes each twist with well-earned confidence. Her visions of “pride” and “prejudice” take on a contemporary twist that includes ego and the class system, but also explores race and assimilation. DJ is described as an insanely hot, dark-skinned, half-Rwandan, half-Anglo Indian from England; his mixed-race background has played a complex role in his life in both Europe and the United States. On the other hand, the Rajes have a distinctly South Asian name and their culture is visible inside their home, but their wealth, education, and full assimilation into the American Dream might have some accusing them of “acting white.”
It’s a fun book with a lot of layers, and I stayed up until almost 4:00 a.m. reading it because I couldn’t put it down. I love the concept and the descriptions of food, and I can’t wait to see which Raje she focuses on in the next book in the series.
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors was released today by William Morrow Paperbacks.